Jenina Schutter, owner of Smart Paws, developed a passion for animals as a young child where she grew up in a small German village surrounded by horses, sheep, cows, deer, rabbits, hamsters, cats, and dogs. Everyday on her way to school she stopped by each of the dogs to teach them little tricks – shake or kiss – or just to pet them. These dogs were mainly farm dogs, kept to protect property and livestock. Farmers would often call Jenina’s father to warn him about the danger involved with the dogs. His reply was always the same: “I have seen her interacting with these animals and I am not worried about her – she has a special gift!”


Jenina Schutter moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to work in the movie industry. After four years she realized that movies just weren’t for her, and in 1998 she met Boris, her American Bull Terrier, who changed her life. She adopted Boris when he was about two years old, but because of his past, he had serious behavioral problems, ranging form separation anxiety to leadership issues, fear aggression, and aggression towards humans and other dogs. When looking for professional trainers to help Boris, Jenina Schutter found that many trainers would not train Boris because of his breed and behavioral issues. Some trainers weren’t an option at all because of the training tools they used. Jenina Schutter found a trainer who used a combination of positive and negative techniques to train Boris. Boris responded better to positive-reward techniques, and because of her background in psychology and social work back in Germany, Jenina Schutter became interested in punishment-free, non-violent methods used to train animals.


Jenina began reading countless animal behavior books and modified some of the methods she read about to create, in her eyes, more humane training techniques. She found that Boris responded even more to the training. Jenina Schutter began working with dog rescue organizations to see how effective her training methods were on different dogs. They were incredibly effective, so Jenina Schutter founded Smart Paws.


Jenina Schutter has been fine-tuning her training methods since 2000, and she continues to consult for dog rescue organizations on training issues. She has worked for K9U and was very active with Boris in the Hollywood Obedience Club with trainer David Berry. In the Winter of 2005, Jenina Schutter met Paul Owens, founder of Raise with Praise and author of The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training, a book that Jenina Schutter had read and adored. When Paul saw Jenina Schutter training a client’s dog, he took her under his wing. Since then, she has become a dog behavioral expert focusing on:

  • Fear aggression
  • Leadership issues
  • Dog aggression
  • Human aggression
  • Separation anxieties
  • Obedience
  • Potty training
  • Escaping
  • Boundary training
  • Curving prey drive

Jenina's training is based on punishment-free, positive rewards only. Jenina Schutter worked for a year as Head Trainer of the Glendale Humane Society to provide obedience training and to handle behavior issues.


The concept behind Smart Paws is: if you have fun with it, your dog will too! However that doesn’t mean you won’t have to be strict with some things. The motto is: No Pain, All Game!


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